Jerusalem Summer 2017 Wrap-Up

Teddy Park Fountain

Jerusalem was filled with events this summer and there was something for everyone.

Water water everywhere:  Teddy Park in Mitchell Parks and Gardens was packed with children all summer long and the highlight, as always, was the Hassenfeld Family Fountain.  Thanks to our efforts, we increased the Fountain’s operational times to 5 times daily, and twice at night.  The Kathy and Ace Greenberg Sports Complex, inaugurated in the late spring, was a much appreciated attraction in the east Talpiot/Armon Ha’Natsiv community, offering respite for local residents from the summer heat.

Fun in the Sun:  Summer camps are crucial for every working parent in Jerusalem and 2017 was no exception.  We are particularly proud of summer camps we subsidized in 4 east Jerusalem neighborhoods (see article in Hebrew). More than 250 children from east Jerusalem attended summer camps run by the Abna Al Quds community center in the Old City’s Muslim quarter, the Christian quarter, Beit David in Wadi Joz, and the Paley Center across the street from the Rockefeller Museum.

Where Are They Now?:   A year ago, we proudly awarded $100,000 to winners of our 2016 Social Innovation Challenge in honor of our 50th anniversary.  Nearly one year later, we are proud to report the status of our winners:

First place winner: “Medabrot Ivrit (Speaking Hebrew)”  had 14  learning   groups at 4 different language levels,  56 volunteers and more than 400 woman who learned to speak Hebrew.                                       

Second place winner: Double Yerushalmi with backgammon games between Arabs and Jews, has become a sensation with more than 14events over the last year, ending the summer with 4 tournament events around Jerusalem ending with the Grand Finale outside the Old City Walls.Times of Israel and Reuters covered this amazing project.

-  Third place winner: Time Bank, an application for residents to offer and receive services as part of a barter system, completed screen design and programming.  They have applied for additional funding and have a goal of 500 users by the end of this year.  

A Summer of Culture:  The 20th Maccabia Games kicked off the summer  starting  with the opening Gala Event at the Tower of David, a truly inspirational evening and a fitting opening to the 10 day sporting events. Shortly thereafter, the Cinematheque’s Jerusalem Film Festival kicked off in the Merrill Hassenfeld Sultan’s Pool  followed by Film on the Go, a unique project designed to bring film to Jerusalem communities that normally do not attend the Festival.  Other events graced the city, among them the Light Festival bathed the Old City in beautiful lights, Mishkenot hosted the Jewish Music Festival, concerts were held at Beit Lorenzo in the center of the city, the Artists’ House hosted a variety of gallery talks, Gerard Behar hosted the International Opera Masterclass for opera singers and conductors, Machol Shalem presented up and coming works at the Granovsky Hall in Canada House, and the Bloomfield Science Museum kicked off their Bicycle exhibit celebrating 200 years since the invention of the bicycle.   Take just two minutes to watch a new video about the Jerusalem Cultural Quarter, part of a global effort to raise funds for culture in the city center. 

As an enriching summer comes to a close, we wish all of Jerusalem’s children a successful start of the school year!